Rohrabacher Bill Authorizes President to Detain Iranian Officials
WASHINGTON – Rep. Dana Rohrabacher this week introduced legislation authorizing President Obama to detain non-diplomatic Iranian government officials until three, possibly four, Americans currently held hostage in Iran are released. The bill, HR 3259, came as the administration tried to sell its nuclear deal with the Islamic regime to Congress in several visits to Capitol Hill.
Three Americans – Jason Rezaian, Saced Abedini, and Amir Hekmati – are currently being held as prisoners of the Iranian government. A fourth, Robert Levinson, is reportedly missing in Iran. The administration’s negotiating team, led by Secretary of State John Kerry, did not include release of the American hostages as part of the deal.
“The inexcusable plight of these long-suffering Americans,” said Rohrabacher, a California Republican who chairs the House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Europe, Eurasia, and Emerging Threats, “perfectly illustrates the contempt Iran’s ruling mullahs show America in general and the Obama administration specifically. They entered the negotiations in bad faith and they left the talks – triumphantly, believing the deal an American surrender – in bad faith. The fact that the Americans are still being held verifies that.”
Rohrabacher’s bill calls for the authorization of the president’s power to detain Iranian officials to expire when the Americans are released.